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Thermal Paste Comparison, Part Two: 39 Products Get Tested

Pastes: Xilence And Zalman

Xilence X5

According to our team in Germany, it appears that Xilence went out of business. Not that it matters much to our U.S. audience; the company's ZUB-XPTP.X5 thermal grease wasn't readily available here anyway. At least we have benchmark data for the compound in our charts for anyone overseas with it. In short, Xilence's X5 is suitable for entry-level systems. Just don't use it on an overclocked processor or a PC in Dubai.

Xilence X5
Thermal Conductivity1.45 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure33.3 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure37.4 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure38.2 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling70.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity3 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use7 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, and should be used in average-temperature rooms, from 70 °F
Price (approximate)N/A

Zalman ZM-STG1

Unfortunately, this one turned out to be a dud in our testing. Zalman's ZM-STG1 is easy enough to apply with a brush, but its effectiveness is sub-par. We'd consider it a notch above Revoltec’s competing compound, but not much higher. Overall, our measured price/performance ratio is a disaster.

Zalman ZM-STG1
Thermal Conductivity4.1 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure34.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure38.1 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure38.9 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling84.0 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity1 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use9 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsApplying this product requires the enclosed brush.
Price (approximate)$7 (3.5 grams)

Zalman ZM-STG2

The ZM-STG2 paste is priced comparably, but much better than the company's ZM-STG1. That doesn't make this offering good, per se. Surprisingly, both pastes share similar ingredient lists. The ZM-STG2 simply isn't watered down with too much silicone, and it remains tougher, even after burn-in.

Zalman ZM-STG2
Thermal Conductivity4.1 W/(m*K)
CPU Water Cooling, High Pressure32.8 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, High Pressure36.6 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
CPU Air Cooling, Low Pressure37.7 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
GPU Cooling68.5 ΔT (22 °C ambient)
Electrically ConductiveNo
Viscosity3 (1-10, lower numbers mean easier to use)
Ease of Use7 (1-10, higher numbers mean easier to use)
Application HintsThis paste seems best suited for the "lentil ball" method, and should be used in average-temperature rooms, from 70 °F
Price (approximate)$7 (3.5 grams)
  • rolli59
    As good as the first part!
    Reply
  • dragonfang18
    I loved the toothpaste part. What about Vicks Vaporub? I wonder how that thing would do.
    Reply
  • Azn Cracker
    Yeaaaa! nice in depth article. Disappointed that cheese was not use as a paste :(
    Reply
  • ledpellet
    Can you test Antec Formula 7 NANO DIAMOND Thermal Compound?
    Reply
  • TehDudeMan
    Great article guys! As a reader for over 10 years pretty much daily, this reminds me of the old Tom's Hardware. These type of in depth articles on enthusiast products are what I love.
    Reply
  • Matt Edwards
    A great article, agree the application of the compound, not the compound itself is most important.

    Like ledpellet I too am curious about these diamond compounds. Wonder if it offers similar results to the Coollaboratory products with an easier application, or if the results simply don't justify the price. E.g in Australia, Innovation Cooling IC7 Diamond 7 Carat Thermal Compound Paste - 1.5G can be found for as much as $25. The cheapest I have managed to find it for is $15. For that price it would want to be good considering the leading GELID GC Extreme, can be found for around $8.
    Reply
  • TerranTerrance
    Adding Ceramique would be greatly appreciated!
    Reply
  • danwat1234
    Coollaboratory Liquid Ultra isn't all that good after a year of hard use. In fact, it completely hardens / dries. On my X9100 after 9 months of nearly 24/7 100% load, I started seeing high temps and after 1 year auto shut downs while crunching. Turns out it was shutting off because it hit the 105 C thermal protection.
    Opened it up; thermal compound was as hard as a rock. has to pocket knife blade and sand it down.
    So for longevity it sucks. That is something to consider, not just initial performance, but performance months and years down the road. Especially for laptops that aren't designed to be opened up frequently for repasting.

    After trying Liquid Ultra many times and having it fail on me, I've put on Arctic MX-2 that has a supposed 8 year durability rating. Initial performance is great, we'll see how it lasts (been 3 weeks so far).
    Reply
  • slomo4sho
    CLU and Arctic MX-4 are both great products. MX-2 and MX-4 can often be found free after rebate so they are an exceptional value.
    Reply
  • CaptainTom
    More things like this! Articles like this will keep me here more often!
    Reply